Increase safety and productivity throughout the facility.
The idea of artificial intelligence has been a hallmark of science fiction and futurism since the inception of computers quite some time ago. Today, most still consider AI something that hasn’t been invented yet, and they’re often pleasantly shocked by the discovery that AI has been around for quite some time, and has a host of practical applications that make modern digital conveniences possible.
The biggest reason people tend to think of AI as not yet existing is because many wrongly define artificial intelligence as the creation of a computer that can think, feel and imagine the same way a human consciousness does. This of course hasn’t yet happened, and when it does, its practical applications in daily life are probably going to be considerably less than people imagine.
Useful artificial intelligence, however, can do some amazing things – things that can skyrocket your business’ productivity, efficiency and potential for growth, regardless what sector you’re in.
WHAT IS AI?
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence, at its core, is actually software (and sometimes custom hardware) which can perform abstract comparisons and calculations, and come to conclusions based on them. It also learns from these actions and their results, and applies what it learns to further calculations and conclusions.
When you boil it down to this core concept, it doesn’t sound like much, but the many practical benefits of a learning abstract platform are beyond numerous.
What Can AI do for Your Business?
The real question is, what can this actually do for you? The precise implementation and use of AI does of course vary depending on your type of business. But the technology is so very flexible and powerful that there are few if any sectors of industry or service which don’t benefit from this innovation. As an example, allow us to point out a host of ways in which AI can optimize and streamline an industrial facility or factory.
Artificial Intelligence in Today's World
How Does Artificial Intelligence Work?
AI works by combining large amounts of data with fast, iterative processing and intelligent algorithms, allowing the software to learn automatically from patterns or features in the data. How AI can help:
- Rapid Prototyping: Traditionally, even with simulation software, prototyping products and production lines is a long and arduous process, even when the best people are involved. With machine learning involved, this whole process becomes much faster and far more cost-effective. AI can easily generate and process a great many potential prototype concepts and run them through a variety of tests. It will learn from each failure or insufficient concept, and ultimately land on a series of very optimal concepts which can then be tested by professionals both in simulators and in physical space. This could in theory cut the prototyping process down to a third or more of the time it takes if AI is properly trained and implemented.
- Identifying Inefficiency: Artificial intelligence, especially when paired with solid SCADA and IOT, can monitor manufacturing processes on a deep level. It can identify defects, slowdowns and inefficient approaches to various manufacturing processes. When combined with vast data sources and sufficient training, it can learn from these issues and devise the most likely approaches to alleviating the problems, thus vastly increasing productivity while severely reducing the amount of waste produced.
- Rapid Analytics: Analytics are a major part of managing a factory, and are usually a thorn in the side of those whom deal with it. Even with good SCADA and precision bespoke software to help out, a group of people still have to cope with overwhelming information pouring in from every aspect of the facility. AI can be a huge help, rapidly processing analytics, spotting trends and patterns, intelligently optimizing and prioritizing information, and generally helping to make sense of all of this information. Given that AI learns from every calculation and result it produces, as time progresses, it will become increasingly proficient in handling these analytics and providing solid conclusions about the state of things.
- Optimizing the Floor: Laying out the factory floor is not an easy prospect. Most factories are often having to tweak and rework their floors as quotas grow larger and varieties of products increase. Traffic across the floor, be it workers or the transport of finished product, often becomes congested and difficult when it once flowed smooth as butter. AI, especially when IOT is available, can monitor the factory floor, observe traffic, spot the bottlenecks and inefficient uses of space, and help to rapidly model optimized floor layouts that perform smooth and problem-free.
- Market Trends: Production is impacted, quite directly, by marketing and economics. With access to the internet, artificial intelligence can watch various trends and consumer habits, and help to predict imminent increases in demand for your products, allowing you to gear up and readily meet the demands when they happen. This kind of intelligent prediction of market conditions is absolutely invaluable, and has been one of the driving forces behind commercial development of machine learning for quite some time. It’s tremendously effective, having led to massive success for many businesses, able to produce product when it’s demanded with no delays.
- Smarter Robotics: Robotics are a big part of manufacturing these days, with more and more robotic components handling complex manufacturing processes. The challenge with this has been that rigidly-programmed robotics don’t handle situations with a lot of variables. With artificial intelligence, with its fantastic learning abilities and abstract decision capabilities works amazingly for optical recognition, pathfinding and much more. This allows far smarter robotics to be implemented on factory floors, vastly improving efficiency and productivity while alleviating human resources for tasks far more befitting of an intelligent human mind.
- Error Correction: Simple artificial intelligence has been helping with spell checkers and other error correction we’ve long taken for granted. Commercially, artificial intelligence can apply this same kind of predictive error correction across a number of applications including physical manufacturing as well as administrative tasks. This can improve safety, prevent miscommunication and even further eliminate the number of rejects produced.
Artificial intelligence is one of those technologies where the limit to its abilities is really merely the limit to its user’s imagination. This is one of the technologies that will identify the 21st century as the time when everything changed, including how manufacturing is done. If you’re ready to become a leader in innovation and tomorrow’s manufacturing processes, fill out our contact form today.